I'd like that job: BMW apprentice

Responsibility, training, cross-department experience, and some outside advisory work too: find out about Chris Hinton's four-cylinder apprenticeship

What’s your name?

Chris Hinton

Age?

21

Where do you work?

I work for the BMW Plant Hams Hall in North Warwickshire, which produces all four-cylinder petrol engines for both BMW and MINI.

What’s your job title?

I am currently a fourth year engineering technical apprentice (electrical).

How long have you been doing that, then?

I joined BMW Plant Hams Hall in August 2006.

How did you get there?

After completing GCSEs and engineering-related As-levels (Maths, Mhysics and Electronics) I applied for the apprenticeship. The requirements for the apprenticeship did not include the As-levels; however, they provided me with a small foundation of engineering knowledge which I feel proved valuable during my interview process.

What are you currently studying?

I am currently completing a foundation degree in electrical control engineering with data communications at Birmingham Metropolitan College (in conjunction with Aston University).

What's the work like?

In addition to my academic training I have been given the opportunity to work within a number of areas within the BMW Hams Hall plant and gain a variety of different experience. Leading up to the completion of my apprenticeship I have directed my training towards a technician role within the company. I am responsible for running and maintaining various control equipment which support the production of a range of BMW and MINI engines.

What are the people you work with like?

All the people I have worked with have been incredibly supportive and have helped provide a constructive training scheme.

What’s the best thing about the job?

What I can appreciate most about my apprenticeship is the fact that my company has supported me extremely well over the years and has provided me with exceptional experience at work in relation to my education. Not only that, but the experience has helped me develop in confidence and has improved my approach and ability to tackle various tasks, not just at work, but with general lifestyle tasks as well.

I feel I have gained more than just work experience and a good education from my apprenticeship.

Much travel involved?

There is very little travel involved during the apprenticeship aside from attending Birmingham Metropolitan College and Aston University. However, I have been given the experience of travelling to other BMW Group sites in Oxford and Swindon.

What do you think you’ll do next?

I hope to be completing my honours degree and progressing within the company from a technician role. I am particularly interested in the development of environmental engineering and training/development.

Any advice to prospective apprentices?

From my experience I would recommend apprenticeships to anyone. I feel that experience is vital in an engineering environment and the best way of achieving a good foundation of knowledge and experience is through an apprenticeship.

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